Saturday, October 15, 2022


The Modern Philosopher's Dilemma

There are, let us say, ten incompatible paths.  The choice of any one of them, as in quantum theory, forecloses all of the others.

A path implies a goal of course.  We choose our path based largely on how congenial we find its teleology to be, socially, culturally, ethically.  The path may be:

  • Hindu
  • Buddhist
  • Taoist
  • Mosaic
  • Mohammedan
  • Pantheist
  • Christian
  • Secular Humanist
  • Purely Materialistic
  • Indigenous in its Origin
The late "tears in the veil," studied carefully, imply that each of these teleologies is wrong because anthropomorphic.  

We insist that Renaissance paintings of God reigning over His heavens are purely "metaphorical."  We think that the Sumerians must have been idiots because they thought that the Sun God could get angry.  

But even the modern materialist takes as his or her model a view of the universe that puts us at the center, psychically if not geographically.  (The "fact" that a wave resolves to a particle only on human observation continues to upset the apple cart of materialism.  No one believes that the wave will resolve to a point if Alexa follows our command to look at it.)  The materialist takes comfort, as much as the Holy Roller on his deathbed, in the susceptibility of all things to our ultimate understanding.  Her Heavenly Reward will be an obituary in the New York Times that confirms to the world that she helped to illuminate our path -- the only true path -- towards a richer understanding of the heavens.

But the tearing of the veil, in multiple places and with increasing urgency, rends all of this asunder.  For us to "figure things out" will be as impossible as for a dog to discover and embrace Jesus as his Savior.  And there is nothing in what we have learned so far that implies any particular benevolence towards us, that we are a Chosen People, that God sees us as his children.

This is a hard lesson at the tail end of life, when one wants to get one's house in order for Judgment Day, however it may be envisioned.  We might as well ask "What will be the fate of this particular well-intentioned bacterium on Judgment Day?"

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